Board of Trustees

Meet our Board of Trustees for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew who are responsible for agreeing the strategy of the organisation through the corporate plan and the budgets.

  • Dame Amelia Fawcett

    Dame Amelia Fawcett (Chair)

    Dame Amelia Fawcett is Chair of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry and has been Chair of Kinnevik AB since 2018, Chair of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments since 2011 and is the Lead Independent Director for State Street Corporation (having been a Non Executive Director since 2006). She also joined the Wellcome Trust as a Member of the Board of Governors in 2019. She is owner of Chilcott & Company Ltd, a lavender farm which she founded in Wales in 2014. She has been Chairman of the Prince of Wales Foundation (US) since 2017.

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    Steve Almond

    After obtaining a BA in History at Royal Holloway College, University of London, Steve Almond trained as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte and spent much of his career there as an Audit Partner specialising in the Financial Services Industry. He worked in a variety of roles for 16 years on the Deloitte UK Executive and, concurrently, 8 years on the Global Executive. He has a wealth of experience advising large company boards and audit committees, and served for 10 years on the board of Deloitte UK. In 2011, he was elected Chairman of Deloitte’s Global Board. In that capacity, he represented Deloitte on various external bodies, including Accounting for Sustainability Advisory Board; International Integrated Reporting Council; Social Progress Index Advisory Board; and World Business Council Sustainable Development.

  • Judith Batchelar

    Judith Batchelar

    Judith has worked in the food and drink industry for over 35 years, starting her life in manufacturing before moving into retail at Marks and Spencer. From 2004 to 2021, she worked for Sainsbury’s as Director of Sainsbury’s Brand with responsibility for all aspects of Sainsbury’s product offer, including Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs. She is a Non-Executive Director of the Environment Agency, Chair of the Rugby Players Association, an ambassador for the Woodland Trust and a member of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Europe Council. Judith was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to Farming and the Food Industry, and is a Commissioner on the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.

  • Sarah Flannigan

    Sarah Flannigan

    Sarah is Chair of Riverford Organic and travel company Sawday’s. She is a Non-Executive Director at Inspired Energy plc, the Institute of Physics Publishing and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  She has been a Trustee at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 2016 and joined the Kew Foundation Council in September 2020.  Alongside her non-executive roles, Sarah is a Consultant Board Advisor on strategy, leadership and digital transformation.

  • Professor Christopher Gilligan

    Professor Christopher Gilligan

    Professor Gilligan is currently a Director of Research at the University of Cambridge, where he has previously held the posts of Head of the School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Mathematical Biology. He has chaired a number of complex bodies, including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, the Science Advisory Council for Defra and the UK Tree Health and Plant Security Taskforce. He is also a former Trustee of the Natural History Museum. He was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015 for services to plant health in the field of epidemiology. He continues to lead research programmes in epidemiological modelling to manage disease of staple crops and the natural environment.

  • Professor Ian Graham

    Professor Ian Graham

    Professor Ian Graham graduated with a degree in Botany and Genetics from The Queen’s University of Belfast in 1986 and a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh in 1989. Postdoctoral research at the Universities of Oxford and Stanford were followed by faculty positions at the Universities of Glasgow and then York, where he has been based in the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products since 1999 and holds the Weston Chair in Biochemical Genetics. His research interests now focus on plant natural products such as noscapine (anti-cancer), codeine (analgesic), and artemisinin (antimalarial). Ian was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016 and won the Biochemical Society’s 2017 Heatley Medal and Prize for ‘exceptional work in applying advances in biochemistry, and especially for developing practical uses that have created widespread benefits and value for society’.

  • Krishnan Guru Murthy

    Krishnan Guru-Murthy

    Krishnan Guru-Murthy presents “Channel 4 News” and “Unreported World” , the foreign affairs documentary series. Before that he was at the BBC on news, entertainment, youth and children’s programming. He has spent thirty years reporting and presenting from around Britain and the world. Krishnan is also patron of the charity Duchenne UK, which raises money for medical research. He lives in Kew with his wife Lisa and their two children.

  • Sir Paul Nurse

    Sir Paul Nurse

    Sir Paul Nurse is a geneticist and cell biologist whose discoveries have helped to explain how the cell controls its cycle of growth and division. He is currently Chief Executive and Director of the Francis Crick Institute, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Board Member. He was previously President of Rockefeller University New York, and was President of the Royal Society. Paul received a knighthood in 1999, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001, the Legion d’Honneur from France in 2002, and the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan in 2018.

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    Kate Priestman

    Kate has worked in the biopharma industry for over 25 years and is currently Senior Vice-President of R&D Strategy and Portfolio at GlaxoSmithKline, focused on the development of transformational medicines and vaccines. Formerly European head of GSK’s infectious disease portfolio, Kate’s career has spanned roles in commercial, corporate governance, communications and government affairs. Previously Kate worked at AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly, following an early career at the BBC as a presenter and documentary-maker. A vocal ambassador and advocate for greater Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM, Kate has been widely recognised for her impact in increasing ethnic representation, gender diversity and inclusivity. In her spare time, Kate is an artist and creator of a popular design blog; her work inspired an installation in the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2016 and is used in schools as part of the creative arts curriculum.

  • David Richardson

    David Richardson

    David Richardson grew up in Northern Ireland and is currently Director of Horticulture at Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) which has a global historic estate which spans over 150 countries and is one of the world’s largest gardening organisations. He has worked predominantly within the horticultural discipline for the CWGC for over 30 years, in all its major geographies and has recently led initiatives on performance management and chemical reduction. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Charted Institute of Horticulture, has served on the Institute’s Council and is a Liveryman of Worshipful Company of Gardeners.

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    John Scanlon

    John is a seasoned leader in the fields of environment and sustainable development, with a unique range of experience gained across multiple continents, disciplines and organisations. He has served in senior positions in the private sector, with government, international organisations, the United Nations, and not-for-profit organisations and initiatives. This includes working for IUCN (Bonn), UNEP (Nairobi) and as Secretary-General of CITES (Geneva). He was African Parks first Special Envoy and is currently CEO of the Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation, Chair of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime and Chair of the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund. John holds a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws (Environmental), and is an accredited mediator. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to wildlife conservation and protection through roles with international organisations.

  • Jantiene Klein Roseboom van der Veer

    Jantiene Klein Roseboom van der Veer

    Jantiene has a portfolio career consisting of executive and non-executive directorships in the private, public and third sector. She has degrees in business administration and landscape architecture and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and London Business School. She has held senior executive positions with global responsibilities for marketing, corporate strategy, M&A, finance and capital markets in major companies, and was a partner of a leading capital markets advisory firm. She has served on the boards of a number of professional associations. She is MD of a landscape architectural practice which has a strong focus on the interdisciplinary fields of heritage, conservation and habitat restoration. In addition to Kew, her current non-executive appointments include Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Henri Moerel Foundation, member of the Board of Trustees of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition Trust and Trustee of Bury Court Opera, reflecting her interests in safeguarding nature and humanity’s future through science-driven global action, the arts and music, education, and empowering a younger generation. Jantiene is the first ever international Trustee of Kew and sits on the Corporate Strategy Committee, Science Advisory Committee, and Audit and Risk Committee.

About the Board of Trustees

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is an executive non-departmental public body created under the National Heritage Act 1983 and sponsored by Defra. RBG Kew operates under a Board of Trustees and came into existence on 8 August 1983. From 1 April 1984 responsibility for many aspects of the organisation was transferred from the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (now Defra) to the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, comprises a chair  and 11 members. Ten members and the chair are appointed by the Secretary of State. Her Majesty the Queen appoints her own trustee on the recommendation of the Secretary of State.

Trustees do not receive any direct remuneration for their services, although reasonable travel and subsistence expenses can be reimbursed.

Minutes of meetings

Visit our 'Reports and policies' page to read our governance documents